Reboot. Recharge.

When all else fails, just shut it down for 5 seconds and turn it back on. Just like new!

Monday, November 28, 2005

That guy's nuts.....grab 'em....

sad news story, and very scary. I am so glad that I do not have a peanut allergy, and neither does my son, Max. My daughter, Louise, has not tried nuts yet, as she is just 12 months, so I'm not sure about her.....

For the most part, I am convinced that the people I see shopping at Costco should not procreate. Yeah, yeah, I know, that's harsh. But it's true. I hate going there and getting caught in the traffic of people, darting their carts back and forth to the different free sample stands. Its like they have radar in their cart or something. They could be walking along, going to get their 10 lb box of Spam, when you see the head jerk up, and the cart turn, getting pushed, full speed, until it reaches the free food stand. No worries about the 10 other people with carts in their way...nope, they're going to get the free food, and they are going to get it NOW. Inevitably, they are heavy in weight, and have a heavy kid in the cart, who doesn't stand a chance in the weight department because all he/she is eating is processed food from a can or a box that the parents bought at Costco....I have made a pact with myself to treat myself and my family to healthy eating. I try to do most of my food shopping at Harvest Coop Market in Jamaica Plain. I am a member (20$ per year) and so I get like 2% off when I shop there. From their site: "Harvest supports sustainable agriculture, certified organic, fair trade, and local and small family farms in our buying practices."
It has become quite important to me and I'm making every best effort to do the right thing for my kids. Take a look at this study on pesticide levels in children. Might change your mind too....

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I'm baaaack

Well, I made it back to the states from France, no issues to report, however, my colleague and I did see 2 burned out cars, on flatbed trucks, that were being transported somewhere.
I definitely ate well last week.
From the croissants, and the butter...oh, the butter, to the cheese and the wine. Wow. Every time I go abroad, I am struck by how great the butter is. I don't normally eat butter, but I make an exception when I go away.
I had business in a small town called Evreux, which is 100 km from Paris, in the Normandy region. This was my 2nd visit to Evreux. I stayed in the town center, at a quaint hotel, called the Normandy Hotel. It has creaky floors, poor heat and a damn good restaurant. The restaurant is manned by the family that owns the hotel, as well as a single waitress, a heavy woman, with blond hair and rosy cheeks. She looks like a frau (is that the right word??).
Anyways, for dinner, I had, un salad avec champignons et langoustines - a warm salad with mushrooms and langostinos. It was delicious. My entree was a skewer of salmon and monk fish, with bacon and veggies. The richness of the bacon paired well with the sturdiness of the fish, it was good. Dessert was dramatic - a rustic apple tart, with vanilla ice cream and flaming Calvados. Calvados is apple brandy, from the Normandy region. It is like fire water. Between the Calvados and the wine, lets just say I went to bed feeling pretty good.
The food at the lab I was visiting was adequate. The lunches were full blown, with a starter, entree, cheese course and dessert, as well as wine. I had the most delicious croissant there. It was warm, with ham and cheese and a bechamel, with crusty melted cheese on top. My veins hardened with every delicious bite. The second day they served a Crevette pot pie, or shrimp pot pie. That was pretty good. Nice flaky crust (puff pastry) and loaded with shrimp in a rich veloute, most likely made with a stock made from the shells of the shrimp.
My second night in Evreux, I was alone, as my colleague travelled to Amsterdam. I actually went out for Indian food. Nothing to write home about...
On my third day, I travelled to Paris. I stayed in the St. Germain du Pres region, which is a region with many art gallerys, restaurants and shops. I had a wonderful meal at a restautant called Boissonarie, specializing in fish. I ate a crab salad with a tangerine dressing and a steamed trout with calamari and risotto, with a wasabi mousseline (frothy sauce). The bread served with the meal came from the boulangerie (bakery) across the street. The waitress took her bread basket across the street and returned with the warm, fresh bread. Thursday, I was flying back to the US. I had a short bit of time to do some damage and went shopping. One of my stops was at a store called Fromaggerie 31, a cheese shop. You could smell the shop about 40 paces before you made it to the door. Hey, you know what I say about cheese, the stinkier the better. The man that worked there was very helpful, and spoke English quite well. He helped me pick out a Camembert (raw, unpasturized) and a chunk of Compte. He vacuum packed them and I stuffed them in my suitcase. I had such anxiety going through customs, with my luck, I thought I was going to be stopped, for sure. I wasn't :), and will be enjoying the Camembert soon.
Overall, the trip was good, but I am glad to be home. Till next time....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bonjour from France!

I have been in France, working for this week. I really do not have time to say much, but I am cataloging everything I eat, and will give a full report when I return, about 5 pounds heavier.
Au revoir!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Yeah, but did you see her hair?

So, I go out for dinner last night, to a restaurant that I had not been to yet; Delfino's in Roslindale, MA. A great spot, Italian Bistro, very crowded. I went with my parents for my birthday, because my husband was working.
The seating situation was tight. We basically were at a table for 2. My dad faced my mom, and I sat in the middle. A table of 3 women sat facing us, in the same fashion. Their table was only 2 inches from our table, so essentially, we were eating dinner WITH them. They were probably about 60 years old, white haired, big night out. They did not order an app or a salad, and they all ordered the same dinner - the swordfish, crusted with sesame, and mustard seeds. Let me reiterate, they all ordered the same dinner.
Well, my parents and I are very close. We all love food and love to go out to eat. We order alot of food and we all share it. First off, we started with the grilled vegetable antipasti plate with prosciuto and cheese. The cheese was gorganzola, and creamy, and the prosciuto was like butter. During our dinner, I proceeded to take some of my father's dish, linquini with broccoli rabe, which by the way was oozing with garlic, and al dente. Then I proceeded to take some of my mother's dish, Puttanesca, which also was delicious (however, my mother ordered it without anchovies! Sacreligious). I had the Taglietelle Bolognese which was pretty damn good. Nice wide ribbons with chunky bolognese, a mixture of veal, pork and beef sauce, slow cooked for a looong time.
I noticed, after I ate off both of my parents' plates, that the old biddy facing me leaned over to one of the other woman and said, Did you see that? She ate right off their plates! I couldn't make out what was said next and some sort of exchange occured. Eventually, the woman said Different strokes for different folks. I was PISSED. So what if I ate off their plates? Who cares?
A little while later in the meal, I was mortified when the wait staff brought me a cannoli with a candle, and sang to me. Well the women across from us in true yenta style had to inquire about the birthday etc, and of course, my mother indulged and talked to one of the women. I guess she said "what" alot, because my mother said, she was deaf as a doornail. My dad said of course she is, did you see her hair? She's so liberal, her legs are straight. Needless to say, I almost peed in my pants. Made for an interesting dinner, that's for sure.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Today is my birthday

But last night was hell. Go to sleep fairly early only to be woken up by thunder just past midnight. Now, for me to get woken up by thunder poses a couple of problems because a) I'm scared sh**less of thunder and lightning and b) I have to get up to teach Spinning on Thursday mornings for a 6am class. So, as I sat in bed, tortured by the rolling thunder, that took an hour to actually present itself, I knew I was going to be screwed (read= exhausted) trying to get up at 5am. So, I eventually fall back to sleep, after the thunder rolled away, and I could close my eyes w/out sensing the flashing lightning and then at 4:30, I heard the CO2 monitor beep. That could mean 2 things: 1) the CO2 level is too high in the house and we are screwed or 2) the power went out, and we or really I, am screwed. This time it was the latter.
Now, I have no clue what time it is, and I am exhausted, and it's pitch black. I know that I need to get out of bed at 5am to make it to my class at 6am. I woke up my husband, who fished around for his watch and found out it was 4:30am. The power went back on shortly there after, but it was too late to actually go back to sleep.
What a way to start your birthday......however, the day has presented itself quite nicely. :) I gave a great class, got some nice gifts, and had a good lunch which included some delicious Belgian Red beer - WatchCity brewery, Waltham, Ma.
I had the Watch City roller - a buffalo chicken wrap w/blue cheese and lettuce, and outrageous fries. Good stuff.....Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Top 10 continued

Slots 8-10, not in any particular order will go to:
Michael Jackson, Off the Wall
The Clash, The Clash
and the Stones, Exile on Main Street.

And, there is justice: Screw Terrell Owens!

A delicious treat

I just discovered FAGE Greek Yogurt - it is so delicious. The 2% version comes in a 7 oz container, with 4 grams of fat. I mix fruit in it and drizzle honey over it - unbelievable.
Apparently the company is from Athens and there, they have a huge line of products. I have seen only the Greek Yogurt at Trader Joe's and Harvest Coop Market (Boston, Ma).
I am going to keep my eye out for other FAGE products - they look kid friendly....
Other Imported FAGE products....

What are your thoughts on the drum solo? I personally feel that unless it is perfectly executed (read: Neil Peart), then it is a waste of time. Filler. That's it. Well, maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but I have high expectations. I don't want to go to a show to hear 15 minutes of a mediocre drum solo That just bums me out and I'd rather not hear one at all.....

Monday, November 07, 2005

You say tomato

Did you know that French vanilla (according to Starbucks) is Vanilla mixed with Hazelnut?Yes, it's true. If you order a French Vanilla whatever at Starbucks, your barista will mix Vanilla syrup with Hazelnut syrup. The coffee at my place of work is so vile, that I've actually sunk so low as to use Coffee Mate in mine. Using the powder version, I mix Hazelnut with French Vanilla into French Vanilla flavored coffee. What does that make it then, triple French Vanilla?I don't know....

Speaking of Vanilla, my husband and I had an interesting conversation/argument over the weekend regarding music. I mentioned that for me, Ten, Pearl Jam, was one of my desert island discs, a top 10er in my book. My husband thought that was ridiculous, and tried to convince me of ten other albums that would displace it. He was unsuccessful. I haven't actually completed my top 10 list, but I know that Ten, is on it. Some others on my list include, in no particular order:
1.Foreigner, Four
2.Derek and the Dominoes, Live, In Concert
3. Phish, Billy Breathes
4. moe. 10/09/03, Gypsy Tea Room
5. Beck, Midnight Vultures
6. Beatles, Abbey Road
As of now, slots 8-10 are being decided. I've thrown around MJ, Triller, but not sure if it will make the cut. I know Rush will be on my list in some fashion and the Stones, Exile on Main Street??? to go through all the muzak....

For dinner tonight:
Gnocci w/chicken sausage and broccoli
Slice your chicken sausage into rounds and saute over high heat until nice and crispy.
Remove from pan, and add in copius amounts of garlic, olive oil and saute over low-medium heat.
In the mean time bring your water to boil, add salt and blanch the broccoli, then shock to stop cooking. Use same water to boil the gnocci.
Add a small amount of flour to the cooking garlic and cook off for a minute. Add broccoli to pan and then deglaze with chicken stock, allow to thicken.
Add the cooked gnocci as well as the chicken sausage back to the pan.
Always season with salt and pepper along the way.....Enjoy.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Shoot me, Now

So, this is my first blog. It took me a frigging half an hour to get a blog address that wasn't already taken. While IMing with a friend, it came to me.....

But seriously, one of my pet peeves is the sound of fingernails hitting the keyboard. My cube happens to be 2 down from someone who has extrememly long nails, and I can hear her typing....ALL DAY LONG.....ugh. Ratt tatt tatt.....Enough Already...and to make matters worse, I just learned that I have been fated to sit next to this person, at side by side work spaces, in the not too distant future. Our row of cubes is being relocated due to construction. Cue music from "The Office" and Shoot me Now.

My dinner from the other night:
Stuffed Acorn Squash.
Roast squash at 400 for 30-45 minutes until soft.
In the mean time, make filling:
Saute ground beef (real or fake), onions, garlic, seasoning (I used Chicago steak seasoning). Mix in bread crumbs, chopped scallions and fresh basil, and some goat cheese crumbles, and a bit of chicken stock.
Remove squash from oven and fill with beef mixture, return to oven for about 10 minutes more.

more later......